“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1Tim. 2:5,6
Leviticus reveals God’s holiness through the sacrifices and laws of sanctification, resulting in the consecration of the people and priests to the service of God. This revelation also manifests the antagonist of Leviticus, the same laws and sacrifices of consecration expose our flesh with its weakness but does not provide the cure. God provides a glimpse of the cure in the picture of the priests, especially the high priest who served as a mediator between God and the people.
Although Leviticus is our focus this week, I’m doing a little backtracking with Exodus.
“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” Ex. 28:1.
The book of Hebrews describes the institution of the high priest and through a comparison of scriptures we see the correlation between the priesthood, Christ and the present day church of Christ.
“And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother…is ordained for men in things pertaining to God…And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, THOU ART MY SON, TO DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE. As he saith also in another place, THOU ART A PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC…Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Heb. 5:1,4,5,6,10.
“from among the children of Israel…For every high priest taken from among men… But we see Jesus…not ashamed to call them, brethren…Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same… (Heb. 5:1; from Heb. 2:9,11,14)
“that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office…ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins…Heb. 5:1; So also Christ…who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation, unto all them that obey him.” Heb. 5:7-9.
Before Aaron or any priests who followed after him could minister unto the Lord, he had to be consecrated to the Lord, dedicated to the service of the Lord in holiness as the Lord gave command. It began with a washing, being dressed in holy garments and ended with the sacrifice for their own sins.
“And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water…Lev. 8:6; I will wash my hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD…Ps. 26:6; Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him: But John forbade him, Saying I have need to be baptized of thee, and cometh thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness: “ Matt. 3:15.
“And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty…Ex.28:2; And he put upon him the coat…the girdle…the robe…the ephod…the breastplate…in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim…the mitre upon his head…even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the LORD commanded Moses.” Lev. 8:7-9.
“They shall also make the ephod of gold…” “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1Tim. 2:5,6
“of blue…” “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost: which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;” Titus 3:5.
“and purple…” “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 19:16.
“and scarlett…” But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people…But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come…Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”Heb. 9:7,11,12.
“the breastplate of judgment…”And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Rev. 19:11.
“the holy crown…” “…Be ye holy; for I am holy…By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (1Pet. 1:16;Heb. 10:10,12,14,18.)
This is by no means a comprehensive coverage of the shadow of things to come viewed through the ordination of the priesthood. For further study check out Exodus 28 and Leviticus 8. Even better study both books along with Hebrews through Precept International Ministries, Precept Upon Precept Series. But what does it mean to you as believers? Three things:
- “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” 1Pet. 2:9
- “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession…Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:14,16.
- “And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Heb. 10:21,22.
So my final question for the day, have you been cleansed, clothed and consecrated?